The first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix was brought to a halt after a major fire erupted on Kevin Magnussen’s Renault.
Magnussen jumped clear as flames began to emerge from the airbox of his RS16. However the car continued to catch fire as the team tried to bring the situation under control. A fuel bowser was wheeled to the car in an effort to drain fuel from the car.
It took around ten minutes for the team to get the first under control and wheel the car back into the garage.
Renault believe the fire was caused by a problem with the car’s fuel breather which caused a build-up of pressure within the fuel tank.
“We had a fuel leak from a breather,” Renault technical director Nick Chester told Sky. “We were running the tank full and we were running some experimental parts really in preparation for Mexico, so different set-up to the other car. We’re looking at what happened.”
“Everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing. Fortunately the car doesn’t seem to be too badly damaged so we’ll try and get it out for P2.”
Chester confirmed the car’s battery did not catch fire. “There’s a little bit of loom damage,” he said, “there’s obviously a lot to clean up”.